When I Was Your Man


Year One, Month Eleven, Day 17

It’s been exactly two years since I broke up with Robert.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

What’s funny though, is that I ran into his best friend, Sarah,  about a week ago at the Trader Joe’s near my condo.

I hadn’t seen in her more than two years…and had not talked with her since a few months after I dumped Robert.

She hadn’t changed a bit, and I was very happy to see her

After she and I got caught up on each others lives (Yes, I told her about Alex, and how happy he made me), I asked her how Robert was doing.

She looked me, shook her head sadly, and said, “Lizzie, he is worse than he was when you broke up with him.  He is more crochety, disagreeable, and he’s gotten mean-spirited.  His house is falling down around his ears.  He hasn’t gotten the air and heating system fixed YET, and he hates his job. ”

I said, “Sounds about right.”

Sarah continued, “Lizzie, not too long ago he texted me and Chuck to meet him to see a band downtown.  I replied saying it sounded fun…when do you want to meet?”  No response.  I continued to text him asking when he wanted to get together….and still heard nothing. When the day came for the show, I hadn’t heard from him, so Chuck and I decided to head to the club on our own.  We ordered a drink, and I got a text from him saying ‘Guess you’re not interested in coming. See you next time.’  Fifteen minutes later, he walked into the club and was shocked to see us.  He was there to hook up with someone.  Good God, Lizzie!  He’s 67 years old….and the women there were mostly in their 20’s.  They would look at him and say, ‘Aw…you’re so cute…just like my grandfather.’

I said, “I’m not surprised.  He always thought he was the best lover in the town.  Hate to tell you, but he’s not…and IT is not a big deal.”

“Lizzie,” she continued, “You did the right thing by breaking up with him.  I’ll tell you, he was upset about the breakup  for months.  I finally told him ‘you were lucky she put up with your shit for 23 years.  If you hadn’t lied and cheated on her and treated her the way you should have she never would have never left you.’

We parted soon after Sarah said that, each of us promising to keep in touch.

I know we won’t.

But that conversation with her stuck with me.  It confirmed that my decision to end things with him was right.

I don’t feel angry at Robert any more.

I feel sorry for him; an old man trying to pick up women forty years younger than he?  Stuck in a dilapidated house with a job he hates and no family to care if he lives or dies.

It’s pathetic.  And I am lucky to be out of it and with a kind generous man who loves me.

So when I heard this Bruno Mars song yesterday, I immediately thought of Robert:

My pride, my ego, my needs, and my selfish ways
Caused a good strong woman like you to walk out my life
Now I never, never get to clean up the mess I made, ohh…
And it haunts me every time I close my eyes

It all just sounds like oooooh…
Mmm, too young, too dumb to realize
That I should’ve bought you flowers
And held your hand
Should’ve gave you all my hours
When I had the chance
Take you to every party
‘Cause all you wanted to do was dance
Now my baby’s dancing
But she’s dancing with another man

Although it hurts
I’ll be the first to say that I was wrong
Oh, I know I’m probably much too late
To try and apologize for my mistakes
But I just want you to know

I hope he buys you flowers
I hope he holds your hand
Give you all his hours
When he has the chance
Take you to every party
‘Cause I remember how much you loved to dance
Do all the things I should have done
When I was your man
Do all the things I should have done
When I was your man

 

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Daughters


Year 1, Month 7, Day 5

I had an interesting conversation with Alex yesterday.

I believe I have mentioned that one of his daughters is getting married at the end of July. He had not mentioned anything about my attending with him, and I was certainly not going to mention it. Since I have not met this daughter yet, I can totally understand why she would not think to invite me. Besides, I have only been dating her dad for three months (four by the time of the wedding) so it’s still in the early days. All perfectly logical reasons and nothing for me to get upset about.

Last night, we were on our usual weeknight date, enjoying dinner at a nearby restaurant. I was filling him in on which of my family members (and old friends) he would be meeting this weekend. (My brother, his crazy ass wife, his youngest daughter, and my brother’s BFF.) Somehow we got started talking about my brother’s wedding and elopements (I think it was because we could overhear the young couple sitting across from us discussing their wedding plans) and he seized the moment and said…

I want to let you know why I haven’t said anything about you coming with me to  ‘Mary Beth’s’ wedding.  It’s a sensitive issue with her, and I want you to know the back story.   When she got married for the first time a few years ago, I was engaged to my wife.  My daughter did not want my then fiancée sitting with the family on the first row.  My ex threw a fit at the rehearsal dinner, and really showed her ass.  I made the decision to support her (since I really just wanted her to be quiet) and it pissed off my daughter.    Because of my bad decision, I didn’t see her or my grandson for two years.   I don’t your feelings to be hurt that night if you are not included.   She and I haven’t talked about it yet…so I’m not sure which way she is going to go.

First, I was astonished at how SELFISH Alex’s soon to be ex is.  it sounds as if this woman already considered herself a part of the family even though they were “engaged” and not actually married.  And since this was not even a couple of years after his first wife had passed away, it was incredibly insensitive of this woman to insist on being treated like “family.”  Secondly, he is still legally married to that woman, so his bringing a girlfriend could be awkward for his extended family (sister and in-laws).  And third, this day is about his daughter…not me…and not my relationship with Alex.  So her and her fiance’s wishes are what’s important… not me.

So, I said:

Alex, it is entirely up to you and her as to whether I am included as your guest.  I haven’t met her yet, so I can understand why she may not want me there…especially if your soon to be ex caused drama at her first wedding.   This is Mary Beth’s day, and her wishes are what’s important… not me.  I think you know me well enough at this point to know that I certainly wouldn’t insist on being treated as a family member or step-mother. If I am included, I am perfectly fine sitting behind the family on the fourth or fifth row and not being included in any pictures.

I also suspect “Cathy” and “Becky” (the daughters who have met me) told Mary Beth I was nothing like that woman, and she wouldn’t have to worry about any drama from me.   But, again, it’s her decision….and I won’t be upset if she doesn’t want me there.

He had a bemused look on his face when I told him this. He replied, “I am not used to hearing this kind of thing from a woman.  I can’t believe you wouldn’t feel hurt if you weren’t included.”

I replied, “I wasn’t included in the Father’s Day cookout at her place…and it didn’t bother me.  That was father-daughter time and that needed to be family only. Granted, it was odd not spending the evening with you, but I was okay with it…and totally understood why I wasn’t included.”

He just looked at me and grinned, and said, “You have a point there.  And Cathy asked me if Mary Beth had included you…and I told her ‘I didn’t ask her if I could bring Lizzie.  I didn’t want to push it.’  She wasn’t happy about it, but understood why.”

I replied, “I was properly raised…and know better than to force myself into family situations. All I ask is that I have enough time to pull together an outfit so I don’t embarrass you.”

“It’s a deal!” he said…and we shifted the conversation to less sensitive subjects.

I now realize how hurt Alex was by his estranged wife. How eager he is to avoid confrontation.   He lost contact with oldest daughter and only grandchild for years because he chose to keep that woman happy and put his children second.

It gives me a sense of his priorities.

Children (even if they are grown up) come first.  It also lets me know he trusts me enough to tell me his family issues.  And that he cares about my feelings.

Since I am no stranger to dealing with family issues, I’ll just sit back and let decide what they want to do.

Stay tuned….we’ll see what happens next…

You Might Think…


Year 1 Month 6 Day 7

Again, I’m going to post some excerpts from a couple of blogs that hit home with me.  Not because I’m  crazy n…but because of situations my brother keeps finding himself in.

Without giving away too many details, he ALWAYS finds himself in relationships with bat shit crazy women. And it causes much stress and drama for my sister and me because we find ourselves trying to calm the situation these self-centered bitches stir up.

My brother is bipolar…but he is on medication, does talk therapy and is relatively stable emotionally (he stays on the depressed side rather than the manic side).  His previous wife (who he adopted children with) is also bipolar. (They were each diagnosed well after they married.) They divorced about seven years ago.

Three years ago, he married an old flame. She is a nightmare.  Throughout this blog, I have mentioned a crazy in-law who nearly ripped apart my family.  This woman is the who is the cause of all the stress between me and my siblings.

Now, with that background, my former and current sisters-in-law have done it again…. and tried to suck my sister and myself into drama they have caused.  Luckily both of us have kept ourselves out of it…and are praying that their constant need for attention and control won’t push my brother to a break down.

I’ve been wondering WHY so many men find themselves with drama queens or crazy women. I follow a dating advice blog, and I read so many posts from guys complaining about emotionally unstable women, it’s sad and unnerving.

Well, I think I finally have an explanation.  And it’s not the women’s problem…it’s the man’s problem.

Here is this from The Good Men Project:

If all of the women you end up emotionally involved with are psychos and find a way to make your life hell, the only thing they all have in common is you. So start by looking at yourself.

We see this pattern quite often — the quiet, reserved, “Nice Guy,” continually meets and attracts the emotionally explosive, manipulative, and sometimes hyper-sexual woman. Why does this happen? And why does it seem to happen to the same men over and over?

It happens when you are uncomfortable with intimacy and expressing your emotions openly and honestly. This inability for an emotionally healthy intimacy will inadvertently narrow down your dating options only to the women who are equally screwed up in their ability to maintain a healthy intimacy.

Reading that this moment was a real “AH HA” moment for me. It’s my brother’s own inability to deal with his emotions that draws him to these emotionally unhealthy women.

So, what’s a guy to do?

Well, here is a couple of paragraphs from  Part Two of this series:

It’s of insane importance to work on yourself to get yourself to a place of authentic communication with women. This means not trying to come up with funny texts or ways to convince her to see you. This means not guilting her into spending time with you or having sex with you. This means not creating drama or getting mad at her as a way to keep her closer to you.

There’s a dating karma and what you put out will ultimately come back around and wreck your world.

But, these articles spoke to me not just because of my brother’s situation.

I realized that I was an emotional mess when I was seeing Troy last year. Because I was a mess, I was attracted to a man who was a mess as well.

And I needed that relationship with Troy (as well as the ones with Peter and Robert) so I would become an emotionally stable, confident woman…finally…at fifty.

Thank you Troy, Peter and Robert. Without you, I wouldn’t be the person I am now…and I wouldn’t have been ready for a genuinely healthy relationship with Alex. (And yes, Gentle Readers, I’ll fill you in on him in my next post.)